How often do you think about potential disasters that could disrupt the business at your law firm? Probably not too often since you are constantly working on today’s problems. How quickly your law firm can get back to business after a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, blackout or earthquake depends on the planning you do today. Though each situation is unique, any business can be better prepared if plans are set in place. Doing so will protect your law firm and give it a better chance for survival. Generally speaking, the steps taken are: Mitigate, prepare, respond, and lastly recover from the disaster.
All Types of Disasters
First and foremost, you should be informed of the types of disasters most likely to impact you in your area. Are they earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornados or floods? You should plan in advance for the most common disasters but also figure out the mitigation or response logistics for lower probability possibilities too, such as man-made disasters. You may be aware of some of your community’s risks, but others might surprise you with further research such as toxic spills or police or military response situations/protocols.
Business Continuity Planning
Keeping your business running after a disaster is not an easy task. Assess how your company functions and determine which staff, procedures, and equipment are necessary to keep the business operating. Figure out emergency payroll, expedited financial decision making and accounting systems to track and document costs in the event of a disaster. Decide who will help you with this plan, include a broad selection of people throughout your law firm with expertise vital to daily business functions. Next, figure out your most important clients and proactively plan ways to help them during and after a disaster. Lastly, decide what to do if your building is not accessible. Let your staff and partners know where to meet/work until the building is accessible again.
There will be some disasters that require your employees to exit the workplace immediately. Making sure there is a plan in place could help save lives. First off, figure out who is usually in the building and who should have the authority to order an evacuation. Create a chain of command of authorized employees to act in case the initial person is not available. Make copies of building and site maps with emergency routes and entry/exit points throughout the building. Designate an assembly site near your building with a backup in case that site is also in danger. If your building is in a high-rise, industrial park or a strip mall be sure to practice with other tenants to avoid confusion and a potential jam.
Lots of Pieces to the Puzzle
Not only should you follow the basics above, but you must also: write a crisis communication plan, review insurance coverage, secure facilities/equipment, assess building air protection, improve cyber security and prepare for utility and telecommunications disruptions. Speaking on that last one, Alert Communications is a great option to handle incoming calls 24/7, crisis or not, including a variety of other call, email, text and web services. Alert can be just one piece to this large puzzle that you need to solve to prepare for business interruption. Let us help you to prepare before for times of emergency or possible business interruptions. For more information visit us at https://www.alertcommunications.com/ or call 844-694-6825.